Error when loading video.

Shazam, Thimphu Tsechu: Day One [Close shot]

More Details Cite This Item

Library division & collection with this item:

This Item

Shazam, Thimphu Tsechu: Day One [Close shot]

View this item elsewhere:

Shazam, Thimphu Tsechu: Day One [Close shot]
Additional title: Dance of the Four Stags
Core of Culture (Organization) (Producer)
Core of Culture (Organization) (Donor)

Bhutan Dance Project, Core of Culture

Dates / Origin
Date Created: 2006
Library locations
Jerome Robbins Dance Division
Shelf locator: *MGZIDF 906B
Dance -- Bhutan
Folk dancing -- Bhutan
Dance -- Religious aspects -- Buddhism
Rites & ceremonies -- Bhutan
Masks -- Bhutan
Dzongs -- Bhutan -- Thimphu (District)
Thimphu (Bhutan : District)
Festivals -- Bhutan
Deer dance -- Bhutan
Ritual and ceremonial dancing -- Bhutan
Mask dances -- Bhutan
Animal dances -- Bhutan
Filmed dance
Filmed performances
Additional physical form: For wide shot version, see: *MGZIDF 906A.
Content: Programme for the Masked Dances at the Thimphu Tsechu, Day One (Oct. 1, 2006): Shazam - Dance of the Four Stags ; Peling Ging Sum - The Three Ging dances of the Peling Tradition ; Peling Ter Cham - The Tamzhing Treasure Dance ; Showo Shachi (Part 1) - Dance of the Stag and Hounds (Part 1) ; Dranyen Cham - The Dance of the Dramnyen.
Venue: Videotaped in performance at the Trashichhodzong, in Thimphu, Bhutan (ground level, looking across arena along the right diagonal towards the Je Khenpho's seat), on Oct. 1, 2006.
Acquisition: Gift; Core of Culture. NN-PD
Biographical/historical: History of Trashi Chho Dzong: In 1216, Lama Gyalwa Lhanangpa built the Dho-Ngon (blue stone) Dzong on a hill above Thimphu where Dechenphodrang now stands. When Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal came to Bhutan in the 17th century, the followers of Lama Gyalwa Lhanangpa were completely crushed, and the Dho-Ngon Dzong fell into the hands of Zhabdrung. In 1641 Zhabdrung rebuilt the Dho-Ngon Dzong and named it Tashicho Dzong (Fortress of the auspicious religion). In 1694 it was enlarged by the 4th Desi Tenzin Rabgye. During the reign of the 5th Desi, Gedun Chophel, in 1698, the Dzong caught fire and was restored. The 10th Desi, Mipham Wangpo, built the Kagyu Lhakhang inside the Tasshicho Dzong. In 1747 the Dong was enlarged at the initiative of the 13th Desi, Chogyal Sherab Wangchuk. During the reign of the 6th Desi, Sonam Lhendup, and the 13th Je Khenpo, Yonten Thaye, the Dzong caught fire for a second time. The two then proposed to move it from Dhechenphodrang and build a new Dzong at the site of its currant location. In 1777, during the time of the 18th Desi, Jigme Singye, the Kunrey (assembly hall of the monks) in the Dzong was renovated by the 25th Desi, Pema Cheda, in 1807. Phurgyal, during his tenure as the 32nd Desi, added the Di Tsang Lhakhang in 1826 and installed many new statues. In 1869 the Dzong once again caught fire, during the time of the 47th Desi. The Dzong was extensively repaired. The 52nd Desi, Kitshelpa Dorji Namgyal, built the Lamai Lhakhang and the Mithrugpa Lhakhang. He also installed a statue of Mithrugpa (Akshobya), facing west. The Guru Lhakhang was built by the Thimphu Dzongpon, Kunzang Thinley, in 1886, under the direction of Karmapa Khachab Dorji. The Lhakhang houses images of Guru Nangsi Zilnon (complete triumph over all illusory appearances, or the great subjugator), the Guru Tshengye (eight manifestations of Guru Padmasambhava) and the Gongdue Lhatshog (images of Abhipraya Samaja). His late Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk took the initiative of renovating the Dzong in 1962. The entire Dzong was rebuilt in traditional fashion, without nails or written plans. The overall renovation works were overseen by Zopen Parpa Yodsel. Seven years later, in 1969, corresponding to the Earth Bird Year, the Dzong was consecrated by Je Khenpo Thri Zur Thinley Lhendup, and Dorji Lopon Nyizer Tulku. In 2002 a newly built Neten Chudrug (16 arhats, those who had extinguished all defilements) Thongdrol was consecrated and added to Trashicho Dzong by His Holiness the Je Khenpo. The Thongdrol depicting the Buddha Shakyamuni is surrounded by the 16 arhats. The Thongdrol is unveiled to the public annually on the 15th day of the 4th month of the Bhutanese calendar, coinciding with the Duechen Ngazom (Lord Buddha s Mahaparinivana) celebration. In the past, the National Assembly met within the Dzong. Today it houses the secretariat, throne room, and offices of the king of Bhutan. The northern portion is the summer residence of the Je Khenpo and the Central Monastic Body.
Biographical/historical: The annual Thimphu Tshechu takes place over four days at end of September to commemorate the birth anniversary of Guru Rinpoche on the 10th Day of the Eighth Month. These days equate to the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th days of the Eighth Month. According to the tradition of Lama Gongdue, the annual Thimphu Tshechu, introduced in 1670 in the eighth month of the Bhutanese calendar during the reign of the fourth Desi, Tenzin Rabgye (1638-1696).
Physical Description
Born digital
Extent: 1 video file (20 min.) : sound, color
This is RAPA version of Sha-zam, or Shazam, the Dance of the Four Stags. A subjugation dance attributed to the first Namkhai Nyingpo. It commemorates the story from the life of Guru Rinpoche who subjugated the God of Wind - who had been creating much unhappiness and dissatisfaction amongst men. Having conquered the spirit, the Guru then rode his mount of a White Stag and gave blessings to people throughout the country, thus restoring peace and harmony to all. The dance thus subdues evil and creates benefits for all who witness it. Shazam: The Dance of the Four Stags is a re-enactment of an auspicious incident in the life of Guru Rinpoche, the great 8th Century sage who is credited with introducing Buddhism to Bhutan as he journeyed through the country to and from Tibet. Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) is also known as the great subjugator of those local deities and spirits who resisted the spread of Buddhism, and, having subdued them to his will, he forced them to take an oath that henceforth they would become protectors of the Dharma, thus turning his one-time opponents into staunch allies of the faith. The Dance of the Four Stags refers to one such contest in which Guru Rinpoche subdued the King of the Wind, the ruler of the Earth-Spirits (sadag) who dominated the North-western direction and who had been causing much trouble and strife amongst the people of those times. Having subdued and conquered this powerful spirit Guru Rinpoche took possession of his mount, a great Stag, and rode around the land bestowing blessings upon the people and restoring a period of peace and prosperity for all. The dance of the Four Stags was revealed by the first incarnation of Nam Nying (Namkhai Nyingpo) who created the Stag masks as a way to commemorate this event. As well as being a subjugation dance having the effect of warding off evil influences in the place where it is performed, the dance is also seen as having the beneficial effect of restoring peace and harmony in the lives of those who witness its performance.
Type of Resource
Moving image
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b19904661
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 74aecea0-f876-0130-86f4-3c075448cc4b
Copyright Notice
Core of Culture
Rights Statement
This item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Item timeline of events

  • 2006: Created
  • 2013: Digitized
  • 2022: Found by you!
  • 2023

MLA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Shazam" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 2006.

Chicago/Turabian Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Shazam" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed October 1, 2022.

APA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. (2006). Shazam Retrieved from

Wikipedia Citation

<ref name=NYPL>{{cite web | url= | title= (moving image) Shazam, (2006)|author=Digital Collections, The New York Public Library |accessdate=October 1, 2022 |publisher=The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations}}</ref>